Quebec recently imposed a gigantic student tuition hike. Students and others have been protesting for the past 14 weeks. Some of these protests have escalated into full-out riots, apparently thanks once again to police escalation. To try to curtail the protests, a new bill was made — Bill 78.
Intended to restore order and settle the three-month-old student crisis, Bill 78 requires protest organizers to provide eight hours of warning for events, including a detailed itinerary, or be subject to heavy fines running into the thousands of dollars.
The Liberal government’s legal solution to its tuition hike conflict has had the opposite effect, fuelling the growing student movement.
Yesterday has a good example of how it looks like a systemic attempt to ratchet up the violence by the anti-protester side: police pepper-spraying some apparently paying customers at a bar patio. What set them off? Evidently, one of the patrons insulted the jack-booted thugs.
So the problem is that students are striking, and the intended effect of the gigantic tuition hike — more money for the government — is actually having the exact opposite effect, drying up the revenue stream. What’s with the intentional escalation, then? Bill 78 couldn’t do anything even remotely like helping!
What might help, on the other hand, is eliminating tuition altogether, paying for that education via a capital gains tax. Quebec currently has a 0% rate of tax on capital gains. People making money from money are not taxed, but people trying to obtain an education are. This ties in quite well with my post on the Experience Privilege.